Shoes That Fit work to help children in need in Delaware

By Elle Wood
Posted 3/30/24

NEWARK – Sometimes change happened one step at a time.

Shoes That Fit is a national organization that works to help children in poverty by giving these children name-brand shoes.

The …

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Shoes That Fit work to help children in need in Delaware


NEWARK — Sometimes change happens one step at a time.

Shoes That Fit is a national organization that works to help children in poverty by giving them name-brand shoes.

The Delaware branch of Shoes that Fit is run by Joanne Glauser. She started the organization in 1998 after hearing the story of how the national group began.

Ms. Glauser was seven months pregnant with her daughter in September of 1998. She was reading an article in Family Circle magazine about Elodie McGuirk, the founder of Shoes That Fit, and was amazed by the story and wanted to become involved.

“I read that, and I was like ‘Wow. That’s impactful,’” said Ms. Glauser. I was working for a large company and wanted to do something more impactful.”

She wrote to the organization and waited for three months for a response. Shoes That Fit had an abundance of responses from the same article she had read, so she was waiting her turn, explained Ms. Glauser.

The Delaware branch of Shoes That Fit took off in December of 1998 just shortly after Ms. Glauser’s daughter was born. They now serve all three counties through various partnerships across the state.

Each year they aim to provide more to the children in need than the previous year. For 2024, they have a very large goal compared to the numbers they had in the past year.

In 2023, they served 658 children in need and they hope to reach the goal of 3291 children. The national organization has created a new business model to help achieve the goal.

Ms. Glauser, who lives in Newark, wants to be a part of the change to end poverty. Although each child is only receiving a pair of shoes, that may be just enough to help in a way that no one thought possible, she said.

“It is so incremental, but there are many challenges that some children have from food to where they are going to sleep to who’s going to take care of them,” said Ms. Glauser. “So, taking one thing out of the equation and maybe uplifting them could change their mind about themselves.”

She said that when she delivers the shoes and converses with people at the schools, she learns how much of a difference she is making on these students’ lives.

“It’s easy to forget that there are people who do not have the basics,” said Ms. Glauser.

“When you hear the reactions from someone at the schools who is with the kids each day and they are like ‘Oh my gosh the children love these shoes and thank you.’ you start to realize that you are doing something worthwhile.”

The work Ms. Glauser does for the children in Delaware brings her a sense of the reality that people are living each day.

“It really grounds you,” said Ms. Glauser. “It really motivates me because if I can change one child’s life and they can go to school, feel good about themselves and can move on with their lives in a positive way, then it is worth it.”

Ms. Glauser says she wants to help as much as she can.

“Maybe there was someone that turned their life around and they thought differently because they did not know people cared or didn’t know that they could feel good about themselves with something as simple as shoes,” said Ms. Glauser.

To become involved with Shoes That Fit Delaware contact Ms. Glauser at or visit

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